Category Archives: History

The destruction of Ukraine’s folk singers

Communists then, as today, were obsessed with the destruction of heritage.

In early December 1930, a Congress of the Folk Singers of Soviet Ukraine, with 337 delegates from different oblasts, was held at the Opera Theater in Kharkiv. The stated objective of the congress was to involve the folk singers in the building of socialism and to give them new ideological priorities while distancing them from their traditions.

After adopting relevant resolutions, the kobzars (itinerant Ukrainian bards, often blind, who sang to their own accompaniment on a multi-stringed bandura or kobza instrument — Ed.) were packed into train cars under the pretext of a trip to Moscow for the Congress of Folk Singers of the USSR and taken to the outskirts of the Kozacha Lopan station. Late that night the blind singers were taken from the train cars to the edge of the forest where trenches had already been dug. After lining up the blind kobzars and their young guides in one file, the special NKVD unit (Soviet secret police, predecessor of the KGB — Ed.) began shooting. When everything was over, the bodies of the executed were covered with lime and earth. Their musical instruments were burned… (Note: other references place the tragedy in 1933 – Ed.)

kobzar2It is useless to look for even a cursory mention of the execution of the kobzars in the Soviet press. Researchers cannot even find documentary evidence of this terrible tragedy in the archives of the former NKVD-KGB. The NKVD agents knew how to cover up the traces of their crimes. As early as 1960, Alexander Shelepin, the KGB head at the time, issued a secret directive ordering his agencies “from Moscow to the furthest peripheries” to burn everything that could compromise the “heroic” agencies in the future . Yet the truth about the executed congress of kobzars and lirnyks (itinerant musicians who performed epic songs to the accompaniment of a lira, the Ukrainian version of the hurdy-gurdy — Ed.) stubbornly arises from the ashes of oblivion.

. . . .

Even Ukrainian writers were enlisted to persecute the kobzars. Thus, Yuriy Smolych wrote that “the kobza conceals a real threat because it is too tightly tied to the nationalistic elements of Ukrainian culture and the romanticism of the Cossacks and the Zaporozhian Sich (semi-autonomous Ukrainian Cossack state in the 16th to 18th centuries). The kobzars have tried to resurrect this past by all means. The medieval baggage of zhupan and sharovary (vest and trousers in Ukrainian national costume — Ed.) are pressing on the kobza,” he concluded.
kobzar monument

Mykola Khvylovyi called for an end to this “kobzified” Ukraine, insisting on the need to “punch out this kobzified psyche of the people.” But Mykola Bazhan surpassed everyone in his poem “The Blind,” where he calls the kobzars “whiners,” “smelly riffraff,” and their repertoire of ancient Ukrainian epics “damned songs.”

The destruction of Ukraine’s folk singers


Kobzars were a unique class of musicians in Ukraine, who travelled between towns and sang dumas, a meditative poem-song. Kobzars were usually blind, and required the completion of a three-year apprenticeship in specialized Kobzar guilds, in order to be officially recognized as such. In 1932, on the order of Stalin, the Soviet authorities called on all Ukrainian Kobzars to attend a congress in Kharkiv. Those that arrived were taken outside the city and were all put to death.[citation needed]

Persecution of bandurists and kobzari by the Soviet authorities can be divided up into various periods. These periods differed in the type and length of persecution and punishments were dealt out and also the reason for the punishment. Following is a list of persecuted Bandurists sourced from Music from the shadows Roman Malko[1] and The Voices of the Dead by Kuromiya Hiroaki.

Churchill Conspired with Stalin to Give East Europe to Soviet Union, Secret Documents Reveal

The Churchill-Stalin pact was drawn up in secret during Churchill’s 1944 visit to Moscow, and has now for the first time been displayed to the public in a new exhibition by the UK’s National Archives, titled “Protect and Survive: Britain’s Cold War Revealed.”

The handwritten document, apparently from Churchill’s hand, also contains a tick mark made by Stalin, showing the latter’s agreement with the distribution of Eastern Europe to the Soviet Union.

Previously, Churchill had mentioned the document in his World War II memoirs, but only in passing and omitting all detail.

According to a report in the Telegraph newspaper, Churchill himself described the pact as “naughty document” and said that it would “come over as ‘callous.”

Furthermore, Churchill said, his American allies would be “’shocked if they saw how crudely he had put it.”

The exhibition’s chief curator Mark Dunton told the Daily Telegraph that this “was the result of late night discussions between Churchill and Stalin, they both had a fair bit of whiskey.

“I think it’s important that this document is going on display because there’s so much significance in that little square of paper.

“It’s potentially incredibly significant—the fate of millions being decided with the stroke of a pen as a result of a casual meeting.”

The note begins by saying that it was written by Churchill during a meeting with Stalin at the Kremlin.

It reads:

Russia – 90 per cent
The others – 10 per cent

Great Britain, in accord with USA – 90 per cent
Russia – 10 per cent

50/50 per cent

50/50 per cent

Russia – 75 per cent
The others – 25 per cent

As events transpired, the Soviet Union seized even more territory than this, taking 10 percent of all the countries listed (except for Greece, which remained free of Soviet occupation) and included Poland, Czechoslovakia, eastern Germany, and the three Baltic states.

Millions of people were displaced, killed and tortured under the Soviet rule during the next four and half decades in Eastern Europe. At least three major uprisings against communist rule followed: In 1953 in East Germany, in 1956 in Hungary, and in 1968 in Czechoslovakia. All three were suppressed with force by the Soviet army.

(1998) CONTRABAND WOMEN — A special report; Traffickers’ New Cargo: Naive Slavic Women By Michael Specter

Centered in Moscow and the Ukrainian capital, Kiev, the networks trafficking women run east to Japan and Thailand, where thousands of young Slavic women now work against their will as prostitutes, and west to the Adriatic Coast and beyond. The routes are controlled by Russian crime gangs based in Moscow. Even when they do not specifically move the women overseas, they provide security, logistical support, liaison with brothel owners in many countries and, usually, false documents.

Women often start their hellish journey by choice. Seeking a better life, they are lured by local advertisements for good jobs in foreign countries at wages they could never imagine at home.

In Ukraine alone, the number of women who leave is staggering. As many as 400,000 women under 30 have gone in the past decade, according to their country’s Interior Ministry. The Thai Embassy in Moscow, which processes visa applications from Russia and Ukraine, says it receives nearly 1,000 visa applications a day, most of these from women.

Israel is a fairly typical destination. Prostitution is not illegal here, although brothels are, and with 250,000 foreign male workers — most of whom are single or here without their wives — the demand is great. Police officials estimate that there are 25,000 paid sexual transactions every day. Brothels are ubiquitous. . . .

Many end up like Irina. Stunned and outraged by the sudden order to prostitute herself, she simply refused. She was beaten and raped before she succumbed. Finally she got a break. The brothel was raided and she was brought here to Neve Tirtsa in Ramle, the only women’s prison in Israel. Now, like hundreds of Ukrainian and Russian women with no documents or obvious forgeries, she is waiting to be sent home.

”I don’t think the man who ruined my life will even be fined,” she said softly, slow tears filling her enormous green eyes. ”You can call me a fool for coming here. That’s my crime. I am stupid. A stupid girl from a little village. But can people really buy and sell women and get away with it? Sometimes I sit here and ask myself if that really happened to me, if it can really happen at all.”

Then, waving her arm toward the muddy prison yard, where Russian is spoken more commonly than Hebrew, she whispered one last thought: ”I’m not the only one, you know. They have ruined us all.” . . .

The Tropicana, in Tel Aviv’s bustling business district, is one of the busiest bordellos. The women who work there, like nearly all prostitutes in Israel today, are Russian. Their boss, however, is not.

”Israelis love Russian girls,” said Jacob Golan, who owns this and two other clubs, and spoke willingly about the business he finds so ”successful.” ”They are blonde and good-looking and different from us,” he said, chuckling as he drew his hand over his black hair. ”And they are desperate. They are ready to do anything for money.”

Family of heroic Welsh journalist blast new movie ‘Mr Jones’ for showing him resorting to CANNIBALISM after sneaking into Soviet Union to uncover horrors of Ukrainian famine in 1953

What a disgraceful thing to do!

The family of a Welsh journalist who uncovered the horrific truth about a Ukranian famine claims an upcoming film’s depiction of him eating the remains of a dead boy is one of ‘multiple fictions’ invented by the screenwriter.

Gareth Jones travelled to the Soviet Union and onto Ukraine in 1933.

There, he uncovered truths about the Holodomor, a horrific famine that claimed the lives of millions.

Introductory remarks by Frank Sysyn, Professor of History, University of Alberta, at the Symposium — Jews and Ukrainians: A Millennium of Co-Existence

Introductory remarks by Frank Sysyn, Professor of History, University of Alberta, at the Symposium — Jews and Ukrainians: A Millennium of Co-Existence, Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto, 27 October 2016.

– In the 1960s the Ukrainian diaspora formed dialogue groups working directly with Jews in Israel, not between the Ukrainian diaspora and the Jewish diaspora
– 1:28 Two major historical paradigms of Jewish Ukrainian visions of Ukraine: 1) Early modern, end of the 18th century, 2) Modernization, emancipation, nation and state
– 2:20 Jews supported of the oppressive regime of the Polish-Lithuanian State against Ukrainians
– 2:35 Ukraine was the land of milk and honey, Ukraine was a “Ukrainian Volcano”. Ukraine offered Jews ability to live in a way they had never lived before, to take up new positions but this was dangerous and often lead to violence
– 3:13 Modernization, emancipation, nation and state
– 3:48 Jews opposed to social and cultural advancement of Ukrainian population
– 5:00 Dangers of stereotypes, Kulish, Jewish historians
– 7:00 Context for difficult stories
– 9:32 Ethnic Jews: 38,000 people on the Canadian census declared themselves ethnic Jews but not Jews by religion
– 10:02 Many Ukrainians viewed Jews as a nation before Jews themselves
– 10:17 Categories of Ukrainian Jews and Jewish Ukrainians
– 10:56 Holodomor project, Temerty Foundation; 4-5 million killed in Ukraine during the Holodomor. Stalin
– 12:10 Special treatment of Ukraine. Many members of the Ukrainian government were of Jewish extraction.
– 12:51 Mennonites were a great segment of the population in Ukraine. Mennonite committee in the West got aid through to Ukraine during the Holodomor, bribed Soviet authorities and saved lives
– 13:20 Maidan changed the entire civic national makeup of Ukraine. Russian Jews/Ukrainian Jews in the diaspora are retro-grade in their views and support Putin

I’m now very curious to read the book.

Chabad, Mossad and the KGB – very interesting history!

I stumbled across this really fascinating discussion by Rabbi Dovid Eliezrie about Chabad in Russia and Ukraine. You get a little bit of news about their revival after Communism, struggling to build ties between communities despite the watchful eye of the KGB, and, interesting for me two rivalries — 1. between Chabad and Mossad, and 2. between Chabad and Western Jewish Lobbies.

Video here:

4:30 – Underground network run by Chabad superior to Mossad’s.

5:00 – Same division of Mossad that integrated with Chabad’s underground network, is the one whhich ran Jonathan Pollard in the US.

7:30 – Chabad system was a huge secret to Jews of America and Mossad as well.

13:00 – Ari Fleisher (Bush Administration) Connection.

16:00 to 17:00 – How Chabad U.S. prepared their man for a trip to Russia to build ties with Jewish community despite KGB interference.

24:15 – Finding people with common surnames in Russia and Israel to get family out of Russia using “family re-unification” rule.

34:30 – Chabad anticipated fall of communism just three weeks after Gorbachov became leader of the Soviet Union. They began preparing for the emigration of Jews from Russia. When Gorbachev heard the story he said “how could they have known when I didn’t know.”

38:30 – Sending people to the big cities in Ukraine and Russia – Moscow, St Peterburg, Dnipropetrovsk, Kharkiv.

42:00 – Description of influence in Dnipropetrovsk.

45:30 – “Putin may not be good for Russia, but he’s definitely good for the Jews of Russia.”

48:20 – Putin bought an apartment for a teacher in Israel whom he apparently knew during childhood.

51:30 – Probably between half a million and a million Jews in Russia.

56:20 – Argument that Jackson Vanic Amendment that didn’t help Jews leave the Soviet Union.

57:10 – Russia, unlike America has to be deal with in quiet back-door deals. American political mentality is that public conflict works.

58:45 – Funny story about Russian-Jewish oligarchs dancing.

59:20 – Boasting about Chabad’s influence in Russia and independence from Western Jewish organization.

(Ukrainian) Repin’s famous paining of Kozaks – identity of the models

Перебуваю в захопленні від цього відео! Хочу поділитись. P.S. Дякую Мирону Левицькому за посилання на нього.

Posted by Віктор Доскалюк on Friday, 31 January 2020

* The artist, Repin was born in Kharkiv Oblast to a Kozak family.

* He began work on the famous painting a few years after Czar Alexander II banned everything Ukrainian: Books, Songs, Plays. (Painting was not banned.)

American prisoners of war who refused to return to America at the end of the Korean War, 1960s

In September, however, 23 American prisoners of war also refused repatriation, sparking a nationwide debate among journalists, politicians, military officials, psychiatrists, and the soldiers themselves. During a 90-day cooling off period, the GIs were held in the neutral zone at Panmunjom, but only two changed their minds in response to entreaties by U.S. officials and letters from the GIs’ families.

The commonly accepted reason at the time was that they were brainwashed while held prisoner. This was effectively confirmed by 149 other POWs held by the Chinese/North Koreans who “reported that their captors had waged a systematic effort to break down their beliefs and entice them to collaborate”

. . . .

Once in China the soldiers were sent to a collective farm to work. Within 1.5 years three of them ran away and sought refuge at the British Embassy in Peking. By 1958, 7 more of the soldiers had left China. By 1966, only two remained in China.